According to the Associated Press, the Tigers have agreed to a five-year, $80 million extension with right-hander Justin Verlander.
The new deal will allow Verlander and the Tigers to avoid an arbitration hearing this year and will keep the ace in Detroit through the 2014 season. It essentially covers his last two years of arbitration-eligibility and his first three years of free agency.
Verlander, 25, went 19-9 last season with a 3.45 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and an
American League-leading 269 strikeouts. He wound up with a more lucrative contract than 23-year-old Seattle ace Felix Hernandez, who posted a 2.49 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP and a career-high 19 wins last season then signed a five-year, $78 million extension this winter.
It’s pretty clear that Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik spun the better deal, but both contracts are worth celebrating. For the next five seasons two top-notch, young pitchers will be allowed to do their thing in the AL Central and the AL West, and without the Yankees or Red Sox breathing down their necks with suitcases of cash.